While this was a very painful book to listen to/read, it was well worth it by the time the end came near. It is a very profoundly sad at times, and horrifying as well. It is indeed haunting, heartbreaking and compelling. Hosseini is able to take his reader right into the story, and it feels as though one is right there with the characters experiencing it alongside of them. Although this was set in Afghanistan with all the horrors of being a woman there, I believe there is a universality to some of the themes within the story: domestic violence, abuse, helplessness, etc. Hosseini’s books have opened up a new culture and experience for me and caused me to have a deep appreciation for Afghani women and their suffering. Even though this is a painful story, there is much beauty within its pages.